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Paul Mantee, Star of ‘Robinson Crusoe on Mars,’ Dies at 82

Paul Mantee, an actor with more than 120 credits on the IMDb who’s probably best known for his role as Det. Al Carossa on “Cagney & Lacey” and as the star of cult film “Robinson Crusoe on Mars,” has died. He was 82.

Mantee was toiling in small, often uncredited roles in the likes of “The Rifleman” or “Hawaiian Eye” when he was chosen to star in the 1964 sci-fi adventure “Robinson Crusoe on Mars,” a survival tale in which the actor played an astronaut stranded on the Red Planet with a monkey. (Adam West co-starred in the film.) The film has come to be critically hailed, and Mantee also appeared the same year in a supporting role in the feature Western “Blood on the Arrow,” but he largely returned to labor in TV roles.

His late ’60s TV credits include “Batman,” “The Fugitive,” “I Spy” and “Mission: Impossible.” Mantee did have a small role in Sydney Pollack’s “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” in 1969.

He worked steadily in TV throughout the 1970s and ’80s, including eight appearances in different roles on “Mannix” and guest roles on “S.W.A.T.,” “The Six Million Dollar Man” and “Quincy, M.E.”

” Cagney & Lacey” brought Mantee his first series-regular role, and he revisited the role of Det. Carossa for the 1994 TV movie “Cagney & Lacey: The Return.” He had a recurring role on another cop show, NBC’s “Hunter,” as Commander Clayton, and did a guest gig on “Seinfeld.”

His final credits in the 1990s including three feature films, “Lurking Fear,” Ron Howard’s “Apollo 13” and “Memorial Day.” He subsequently turned to writing magazine articles and novels, and he had recently been writing columns for a Malibu newspaper.

Survivors include his wife Suzy.

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